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Ever thus to ____ers
Staff member
I'm grasping for the perfect knife/stab/slice joke here, and it's escaping me. I'll just stick with simplicity.

Congratulations on your graduation, Ray-Ray! ...just try not to be an accessory to murder again.
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As seen on BNUTS

A conversation with Ray Lewis

Ravens All-Pro linebacker and recent college graduate Ray Lewis was on Ravens Cam with Rich Eisen on NFL Total Access. Lewis talked about his new degree and his new aspirations, along with the Ravens' upcoming season and his mentality when he takes the field. NFL Total Access airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET/PT (aired May 12, 2004).

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Rich Eisen: He's the Super Bowl XXXV MVP, he's one of the best players in the history of the NFL, but all that may pale in comparison to what is going to happen on Saturday. The graduate himself, Ray Lewis joins us right now on Ravens Cam. How you doing Ray?

Ray Lewis: I'm doing great, Rich

Eisen: Well thanks for joining us, Ray. Certainly a big day for yourself on Saturday when you are going to get your college degree from the University of Maryland. Talk about why you did this.

Lewis: Rich, it was something I had in my plans the whole time throughout my career. At the same time there were some things that professionally I wanted to do when I left college. I wanted a challenge professionally, and that was to come in and become one of the most dominant players of this game. But when I came in, I promised my mom that I would always finish school, and that was something I believed in. To do this Saturday, on my 29th birthday, is appropriate, it's very appropriate.

Eisen: So in part your did it for yourself and for your mother as well?

Lewis: Yeah Rich, that was my whole thing. My mom is my backbone. Just to give her that piece of paper, I told her some years ago that I set it aside because I left school early, but just to get it done was the biggest thing. It was satisfaction to her heart as well as mine.

Eisen: Is it true that she didn't know that you were actually about to graduate until she saw the bill for your cap and gown?

Lewis: Yeah, the cap and gown actually came out to our house. She came out and she was like, "What's this payment for?" I tried to go around it, but of course she knew about it, so then I went ahead and told her, and after the tears and all that we hugged each other and was like, "Baby you've really done it," and now we're here at this point and she's real excited.

Eisen: You can't hide anything from moms.

Lewis: Mother's intuition.

Eisen: It's very difficult to do that, your getting a degree in business administration. Tell us about the classes you took -- you took them mostly one on one with professors to avoid the publicity that might come from it.

Lewis: Of course. Even when I spoke to the president of the organization, as well as the teachers, one thing I did work out was that I could go in and see the teachers myself and there were things I could do on the computer while traveling. But most of the time I went in and talked to the professors and took whatever classes I needed to take, my communication classes that I just took, my english class I had to take before that and things that like that to really get it all out of the way.

Eisen: That's what my B.A. is from, in communication from the University of Michigan. What papers did you write for communication classes?

Lewis: For my last paper, I had to write a 10-page paper and the topic was barriers on African Americans in professional sports.

Eisen: No kidding. What did you get on it, if you don't mind me asking?

Lewis: Well actually that was my last one, so my teacher is the only one who knows that. Ownership! It was barriers on ownership, I'm totally sorry.

Eisen: Okay, fascinating. So you're going to get your degree from Maryland, and as you know Miami is about to join the ACC. Now let's say Miami plays Maryland. Who do you root for Ray?

Lewis: I've been getting asked that question a lot because my littler brother, who will be a freshman, will be attending Maryland coming up this year. So I've been getting that question a lot. "Ooh, who are you going to root for Miami or Maryland?" Rich, you've got to remember that I'm a Hurricane for life and that's where my heart lies. Of course I'm going to cheer for my little brother, but it's a different thing when they play the Hurricanes.

Eisen: Now when you were drafted, you were the only player from the state of Florida to go in the first round of the draft. This year we saw a first round that included six players from your school alone. What were your thoughts on that, Ray, the Hurricanes were just dominating the first round of the draft? A lot of these guys owe it to you in many ways.

Lewis: Rich, every year you look at the future Hurricanes and the future stars coming out and ask yourself, "Can you keep rebuilding like that?" With these guys coming out now, you look at some of these guys' bodies and you think they've been in the league three or four years. When you look at a Kellen Winslow and a Sean Taylor, these guys are really carrying on the legacy of what we started years ago at the University of Miami. I'm always proud to see that many Hurricanes go in the first round that day.

Eisen: Do you mentor many of these guys? Do you call them, and do they call you?

Lewis: Oh, of course. I'm very close friends with Jonathan Vilma and I've talked to Kellen Winslow every now and then. Of course I won't be talking to him as much now that he is in Cleveland. Other than that, this other guy by the name of Willie Williams is going to be at Miami and I talk to him everyday. The thing I tell them most, Rich, is that to work hard, to pray and to keep God first, and do whatever you want to do -- the sky is the limit.

Eisen: So you'll let your play do the talking against Kellen Winslow?

Lewis: Well I think that's going to speak for itself anyway. He's a Hurricane, I'm a Hurricane.

Eisen: Now obviously you take every game very
seriously. I've heard you say that you play every game as if it could be your last. You place every game on the same pedestal. That said, Week 8 against Terrell Owens and the Eagles. A lot of people are placing extra significance on that game. Are you one of those people?

Lewis: No, not at all. I think that one thing I would say about that is, that we've seen Terrell Owens, and he came to Baltimore last year with the San Francisco 49ers, and he may have had two to three catches at best. With my defense the way it is right now, there's not too many people that we will give respect to. We won't disrespect anybody, and he's a guy we've already handled, so when he comes back with Philly, hopefully he doesn't think anything is going to change because he is in a green uniform.

Eisen: Or just the fact that he could've been in a purple one, is what people are saying.

Lewis: He could've been anywhere. But there's a feeling here that greatness is only one way, and we've seen it before and we hope to go back and see it again in the next two to three years.

Eisen: Ray, what motivates you?

Lewis: Wow. Everyday, Rich, my motivation is easy: My children, my mom, and to truly be the best when I walk away from this game. I don't complicate that, I don't shy away from that, I don't walk into a game saying, "Hey how are you doing?" When you step on that field, for 60 minutes, you get everything that I've worked hard for, and I don't think there are too many people out there to test that right now. I want to be the greatest ever to play this game, period.

Eisen: Right, and a lot of players that play with you say they don't want to disappoint you as much as they don't want to disappoint the coaches. Are you aware of that sort of talk, Ray?

Lewis: Well, I think the truth is when I look at all my players, the first thing I tell them is not to cheat me because I will never cheat you. I'm going to always give 110 percent, and if you can't give me 110 percent, just be man enough and don't line up beside me. I truly believe that with team chemistry, you truly have to be in this together.

Need a mortgage? Ray Lewis will "lend" a hand.
Eisen: Now you're obviously about to enter the world of business. You have your degree in it, you're about to have restaurants open up, you have a mortgage company already under way, is that correct?

Lewis: Yep.

Eisen: Well, I'd love to have you come and collect. (laughs)

Lewis: I wouldn't come and collect. People don't like bill collectors, they'd keep their lights off.

Eisen: Do you have aspirations perhaps to coach, Ray?

Lewis: No.

Eisen: No? Okay. But you're obviously active in the community. Tell us about your bowling event that you just had.

Lewis: Yeah it just happened this past Thursday and Friday, and it was just heartwarming, Rich. All these guys came out -- we're talking about Deion Sanders, Evander Holyfield, Tracy McGrady, Patti LaBelle, Rod Woodson, Shannon Sharpe ... it just went from star to star to star. And Rich, it was just a simple phone call. I made a phone call and asked these guys to do that and come and help these at-risk youths, and it was overwhelming the turnout we had these last two days.

Eisen: I'm glad to hear that. I'd like to show you some bowling we did here on NFL Total Access. Jerome Bettis, Marcellus Wiley and I were up there, and I would like to show you a quick snippet of this particular bowling. This is the 10th frame, and it was a key strike. Take a look at my celebration and critique it for me.

(clip plays of Rich bowling and dancing like Lewis after the strike)

Eisen: What do you think?

Lewis: Rich, who were you imitating right there?

Eisen: (laughs) Well that might be you. I was trying to imitate your dance coming out of the tunnel. I guess I needed extra interpretation on my dance there.

Lewis: You skipped the left to the right -- you went to straight to the last part!

Eisen: Well my lateral movement isn't what it used to be, but I need to get a little bit to the left to the right.

Lewis: I'll help you out with that.
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HTTR Forever.
Ray Lewis Vows To Help Survivor of Tragic Incident

and I say "incident" because I don't believe for a minute it was an "accident"

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis(notes) isn't always seen as a kind man, mostly because of his on-field demeanor and certain incidents that happened over a decade ago in Atlanta, but the truth is that on a day-to-day basis, there are few NFL players more interested in helping and mentoring others than the future Hall of Famer. This came into sharp focus recently, when Lewis met 10-year-old LaShaun Armstrong, whose mother drove her car into the Hudson River in April. LaShaun was the only one to escape the car — his mother, younger sister and two younger brothers did not survive.
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